Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Whiskey Flat Trail

Last week we finally hiked the Whiskey Flat Trail. It's something that we've been talking about for years, but haven't really been physically able to do until recently. In the last 7 months we have gotten in shape and lost quite a bit of our excess weight. So this hike of 14.5 miles became a challenge for us.

Last month we hiked in from the bottom about 4 miles and then back out. Then we hiked in about 3 miles from the top of the trail and back out. We thought we were ready for the whole trail. It seemed to be well maintained and even though at the top there was quite a bit of uphill and downhill it leveled out enough to not be too tough.

Well, we were mistakened about both how well it was maintained and how strenous it was.

We've passed this trailhead many times over the years. It's just across the bridge at McNally's.
This time we're really gonna do the trail!

Most of the top part of the trail is behind the mountains that you see from the road.

If you look real close at the top of this mountain you can see Salmon Falls. This is a real treat because we never saw it from the road. Now that we know where it is, we can see it from the road too!

Yes, this is the trail.

In some places the bushes totally blocked the trail. Here it's not too bad and I can still see Ray.

It's so beautiful up here. We did this hike on Good Friday, which was also Earth Day. A good day to be close to the earth.

I took pictures, even toward the sun; see the ray's at the top of this one.

There's still snow up there. This is where we stopped for a lunch of granola bar, orange and water.

We crossed a total of 30 rivers, streams & creeks. Number 13 was the most challenging and at number 28 I fell in. I had to do the last two hours of the hike with wet clothes, after dumping water out of my hiking boots. The clouds had moved in, the wind started up and the sun was going behind the mountains. At one point there were even a few raindrops, but luckly it didn't really rain. I was happy that my IPhone (that was in my pocket) didn't get ruined - that's where these pictures came from.

Back by the river.

At the top end of the trail these yellow ribbons are the only way to know that you're going the right way. A few times we went the wrong way and had to backtrack. It was very comforting to find one of these, especially after practically crawling under bushes to get through. The bottom part of the trail didn't have these ribbons.

We wondered how many years it took for this tree to totally return to the earth.

This tree fell across the trail (yeah that's the trail) and we had to crawl under it. Fun times!

Here we had to stomp down these grasses to get through only to end up at the river with no obvious way to go. Then we looked back and up - the path went up.  

Then turned up again and here it is from the top. The river is below.

So at the top the view is beautiful (even with my height issues). This is facing up river.

This is down river.

We spotted a Sequoia tree.

Here's another one of those hills. Yes, that's the path.I think I would have done better if I was a mountian goat.

This is down into the area that burned last year.

Check out this 'Spaceship' cloud. We were just discussing clouds and this kind of cloud the day before with Cathy.

Here a rock fell across the path and we had to scoot around it.

The long leaves of this little plant are swept around by the wind making these circles. There were lots of them around the path.

I loved this. I want it in my backyard. I don't think you could plan an area like this for your backyard that would be so pretty.

For those of you who are still interested, here's some flowers from the trail.

Last month these little flowers were green, now most of them are orange.
I found one that was still a little green. I'm not sure what they are called, but the little cone around them looks like those cones that dogs wear.

We had a great time. Yes, even with falling in the river. And what an accomplishment! It took 9 hours and 45 minutes to finish and then we had to go back to McNally's for the other jeep. Of course I had to go by the house and change first. We survived and weren't too bad of the next day or two (we were surprised about that).

I have more pictures on the little camera that I haven't posted and I still haven't posted that Ray and our friend Brian hiked to the Harley Mine the week before. I will get to those later.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Long Beach Harbor & Sea World

Sunday we were invited to cruise Long Beach harbor on friends Jay and Helga's yacht. We have done this before and knew it would be a great day. It rained a little bit on the way there and I was worried, but by the time we left the docks the weather was great.

Looking back at Long Beach.
There were a few clouds, but the sun prevailed.

Kathy and Jerry went; so did Ray's brother Mike.

Tuesday afternoon we decided to go to San Diego - we've been wanting to go lately, but it just didn't work out. So we just decided to go and were packed and down the street is less than 30 minutes. We made it there quickly and were able to get a room at the Catamaran Resort on the 12th floor. What a view of Mission Bay!

 See the ocean beyond the bay.

For dinner we went to Hodad's. It was on the Diners, Drive-ins & Dives show. There we had a bacon cheeseburger and onion rings. We don't eat that stuff much these days so it was a treat.
The sunset after dinner.

We spent the night and then headed to Sea World. When we got there a man with a camera asked Ray, "What are your plans for the day?" Ray answered and let them tape his response and then they gave him two free tickets. Not bad when it costs $69.99 to get in.

Here's a view of the bay from Sea World
We had a great day and left in the afternoon and headed home. Again we had good traffic and made it home in good time.

It was great fun to just do a spur-of-the-moment thing and what luck to get free tickets!